Mercer - 77th Anniversary

Thursday, September 23, 2021

On Oct. 2, 1944, Halford Mercer, now 97 years old, married the love of his life, Lelia M. Johnson, now 95, in the middle of World War II.

The Mercers were blessed with two children, daughter Sonna and son Gary. Later they would welcome three grandchildren, James Jr., Bobby and John, and three great-grandchildren, Tyler, Kayla and Aiden.

Two days after their nuptials, Halford was flown to New York, where he boarded a ship to Marseille, France, arriving on Friday, Oct. 13 to push back the German army.

During his service, he was a technician corporal, 14th Armored Division, artillery mechanic, and received two Good Conduct Medals and two Bronze Stars, American Campaign.

Halford was issued a carbine weapon (which he never had to use). While driving a Diamond T five-ton truck loaded with ammunition through a small town, people began to take cover when an airplane was heard overhead. Halford feared the end was near but was relieved to learn it was an American aircraft.

Halford served his country for three years, 19 months of which were overseas.

The Mercers currently reside in Brazil and will celebrate their 77th anniversary on Saturday, Oct. 2.